A decade after legalizing cannabis in Colorado, here’s what we’ve learned

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Ten years ago this week, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, making the state among the first two in the nation (along with Washington) to legalize the use and possession of cannabis, a.k.a. marijuana, for recreational purposes.

Since then, 19 states and the District of Columbia have followed suit. On Tuesday, another five will consider decriminalizing recreational use of weed.

Today, the once-underground endeavor is a $2 billion per year industry in Colorado, and research on its chemical makeup, health benefits and risks is flourishing at institutions around the country.

“Before, research focused almost exclusively on the harms because it was only thought of as an illegal substance,” said Angela Bryan, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder whose team studies the health impacts of cannabis. “Now we can focus on the full continuum.”

Here’s a look at some lessons learned since…

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